Glen Frank's inaugural run as a project manager couldn't have had a tougher challenge: to bore a light-rail tunnel just 13.5 ft under Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle with a 200-ft vertical drop, a right-hand turn and S-turns through one mile.
Frank, 48, says that serving as PM for the joint venture of Jay Dee Contractors Inc., Frank Coluccio Construction Co. and Michaels Corp. on the $153-million job "put me in a position to help people understand what needed to get done and what their roles were," he says. Combining his leadership skills gained from high-level collegiate wrestling and his experience working under 2011 Newsmaker Gregory Hauser on the Brightwater tunnel, Frank led the University Link tunnel for owner Sound Transit.
Frank says using "observational methods" to bore through saturated silts in high-risk areas proved the most intricate. "We developed some really good techniques for conquering the cross-passages and being able to excavate in flowing ground that we expect to use on the Northgate link," an upcoming project, Frank says.
Bruce Gray, Sound Transit's project spokesman, says the contractor did a "fantastic job all along on this contract." From planning to execution, the job was nearly flawless, Gray adds.